Becoming a Forensic Odontologist
Forensic Odontologists identify the bite marks on individuals and look into all aspects of their implications while prescribing adequate treatment. They examine the human remains that can not be identified through face recognition. Such needs arise in case of mass casualties, including plane crash, road mishap and natural disasters.
The Forensic Odontologists determine the source of bite marks so that any suspected assault or abuse can be proved during criminal investigation process. They also work on skeletal remains to estimate their age. In addition, they also write detailed reports explaining the events and suggested actions. The Forensic Odontologists testify in the court to substantiate their findings. They generally work at hospitals, Dental set ups, medical facilities and law enforcement agencies.
Education Requirements: The aspiring Forensic Odontologists must earn a Doctor of Dental Science (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree and also need to go for extensive training in related field. Work experience at the clinical settings will serve as an advantage for the Forensic Odontologists.
The coursework may include Biochemistry, Histology, Human Anatomy, Oral Surgery, Neuroscience, Physiology etc. The American Board of Forensic Odontology and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences offer certification programs required in many U.S. states while hiring the Forensic Odontologists.
Salary & Job Outlook:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for Forensic Odontologist may grow by 16% during 2012-22, which is little higher than the average. The average annual salary for Forensic Odontologists remains $150,000 – $185,000, depending on their experience and qualification.